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Speedy Gonzales or Slowpoke Rodriguez?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Weekend just passed was:

    Saturday: 2 runs of 65 mins on the faster end of 'easy'

    Sunday: 90 mins inc 30m pace. 5-6 Strides (20s) in warmup. Effort was on the grass paths in 40 acres Phoenix park.

    Kept the effort even although pace dipped in the second half.

    Calves held up and idea was to test them while putting in a continuous effort to prep for 40 min+ efforts to come.

    Pace was about 4:15 per km ave (6:53)

    I may jump in a parkrun this Saturday to consolidate fitness and prep for the first 20 minute effort, assuming calf agrees.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭ diego_b

    Very interesting about the sand there, I used to live in Ringsend back in 2005 for around year and I often wondered about that in Sandymount and other beaches as to what caused it. Always seemed to be really prevalent there. Never thought to look into it before. Good tips there I think...have been thinking about working some trail and beach running into my own training a bit more as I do get calf issues now and again...which usually lead to Achilles issues if unchecked and then I'm off-road proper in a non running sense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    I only literally checked out the sand stuff after that run and I grew up near a beach on west of Ireland.

    On Sandymount when its still damp its really good conditions for a training run. Just to remember to pin the Dublin Tides page somewhere so I am aware of what day might be good etc.

    Was running a bit on bull Island inland. No major hills to challenge the calf but constant changing of strides to allow the tight spot to recover. Running on the hard flat stuff sometimes does not help the recovery and I am starting to think it causes problems too (especially for older runners). Anyway, it's worth a try if it means avoiding a layoff.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭ diego_b

    Yeah I'm not too far (just over 5min drive) from Ballyheigue so I do occasional running on it but run mainly on the surrounding roads around my homeplace...only travel further afield really for group runs. That sort of effect doesn't seem to be too prevalent on Ballyheigue but Banna which I'd probably run on as often on can have lots the ripples but now I have the knowledge as to why! I do check the tide times alright, Fenit Pier is what we would would refer to here to give a gauge on the tide times here....not living here long enough to know it intiutively as some others do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Thursday: 70-75 easy off-road (interior bull island) Calf a little sore after tarmac session yesterday.

    Friday: Easy 10km between cycle commute to and fro work (Morn/eve 35 mins each way)

    Saturday: New Paths/Cycle paths from Bushy Park heading towards West and back. 6.6km out so about 13km. Picked it up on way back and calf started going after 10km. Reigned pace right back.

    Sunday: Session 40 minutes fast. Did it on grass at Clontarf sea front. Averaged roughly (4:10;6:45 pace). No great shakes but object was to get calf through during a controlled session. About 30 min warm up, and 15 min warm down.

    Got a basic week in after the recent calf problems. The tarmac session on Wednesday was a mistake but Sunday proved the calf can take sessions on grass: just need more patience. Similar week planned next week.

    Post edited by demfad on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday: AM Cycle to work Lunch short cycle to gym for some Core and Static stretching.

    PM Run home (65). Had pencilled a short session of aerobic strides but body was tired and it was an easy run.

    Tuesday: AM Easy run into work (65) and 5 x 20s strides. Feeling better.

    PM cycle home (30) feeling OK. Fastest cycle home in recent times.

    Wednesday: Session: WU 20 + 20 @ 10mile race pace off 5 min jog recovery. WD

    Half drill session and 4 x 20s strides. Paces (3:55, 4:07).

    Run was late morning and Easterly had picked up after a still morning. Route was Clontarf seafront so wind was going to be a factor.

    Did first 20mins on grass with first half of that into wind towards wooden bridge. Went too hard here into the wind and never really recovered during a tired session. Second 20m was controlled but had switched to tarmac and pace show 12s/km slower which might be closer to 20s/km ie a full gear slower. I ran it relaxed with good form so there is that.

    I may need a stepback week but looking back I made a few mistakes this week. After the excellent long run on Saturday I just needed to run two easy days, bank the recovery and adaption and prepare for todays session. Instead I added a cycle on Sunday (which was harder than anticipated due to accursed wind). Added to my normal running on that day it meant it was not a recovery day. I had planned to add a cycle, but that is not the place for it: not yet at least. Sticking with my slow slow growth in volume which is serving me well, I should have just swapped a cycle for an easy run.

    On the Monday I added a small core stretching session at lunch. 6km round trip on the bike but as far as the body is concerend it's an extra effort and with the cycle and run that day that made 3. So both days after the long run I was doing extra to what I had been doing and should have done. Got it together on the Tuesday with an easy run in and cycle home.

    Today during my warm up I was hitting 4:20s while it felt like jogging. Thought I was going to monster the session. I had planned an early morning session which didn't happen and although I had some porridge I was hungry leading up to the session. Shopping in Lidl after the run forgot my list and bought a trolley load of crap: as in shopping while hungry and buying 6 times what was needed to cure the hunger.

    Sign I may have bonked a bit. Anyway, pick an excuse above.

    I'll run easy for a couple of days and see how the long run goes. If its sub par again I'll take a step back week. If it's OK, I can chalk today to those few errors and keep the routine going (and learn the lessons).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Just a few notes:

    The longer cycle has made the daily commute cycles a lot easier. Longer recruits (turns on) more fibre bundles (for cycling) meaning more available for the easier cycles. Same as an easy long run makes the daily bog standard run easier and the volume of easy running allows a longer long run and then a better quality long run. I wanted to add cycling for several reasons: weight loss, strenght, commute time. But even one longer weekend runs greatly helps make that commute cycle easier and/or gives you a couple of easier gears reducing the 'adaption' time until any cycling fatigue disapears and the training adaptions is back fully on running.

    Doing my runs on grass and trail has really opened my eyes. The balancing and stabilizing muscles are stronger. The supporting muscled are stronger so less muscle strenght imbalance. More forgiving so less muscles pain/tightness. Put it this way: what I saw in Kenya was every easy run done on rough, off-tarmac hilly terrain. Every 100km I was racking up around 1000m in climbing on 'normal' runs without any specific hill sessions (bar one session of hill sprints).

    For the time strapped amateur runner which makes more sense: Running every day on flat tarmac/concrete with the ensuing weaknesses requiring supplementary 'fixing' exercises that we will do half assed if at all or

    Running everyday offroad not avoiding hilly terrain (or even seeking it out), the resultant strenght etc. making the supplementary work redundant?

    Post edited by demfad on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday: Morning/Evening Bike Commute (commute = 12k each way): Lunch 12k mainly grass taking in Killiney Hill

    Tuesday: 65 Easy Cabinteely Park-grass. Morning/Evening Bike Commute

    Wednesday: WU 20,10, 2 x 5 mins (5 min, 3 mins jog recoveries) WD

    (6:01min/mile, 6:20, 5:58, 5:59).

    St Anness Football fields on grass.

    Good progress on last session (ave 10s/km-15s/mile quicker).

    Went out hardish in the first one and steadied. Although it was under control I felt terrible after and decided I would keep the next rep, a 10 min effort, controlled in generally the correct effort zone. Slower but not bothered. Picked it comfortably up for last two 5m legs both dipping under 6min/miles. All good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Thursday: Easy hillly run on mainly grass taking in Flagstaff and Killiney hill summits. (65)

    Morning/Evening Bike Commute (commute = 12k each way)

    Friday: Grassy, hilly run taking in grassy climbs in Cabinteely park. Also 4 x uphill, downhill, flat strides (20s each, all relaxed)

    Morning/Evening Bike Commute

    Saturday: 15 x 1min (off 1 min easy) ave was 3:31 pace (reps 3:15). Average for 30 mins was 4:06.

    Polo grounds, grass. Good session, mentally broke the 15 into 3 * 5). Picked it up on last 2.

    Sunday: AM Cycle over Dublin Hills (42km/1hr55).

    85km running and 140km cycling. The change this week was hillier easy runs and double cycling commutes on 4 days this week. I am fit enough to o very very easy on these now so able to vary them to ensure only a slight increase in overall physical stress of week.

    Rest week coming up with a 10km Sunday. Haven't had a race (where i was half fit) in 4 years. Looking forward to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday: Easy 35mins grass

    Tuesday: 55 easy inc 5 x 20s

    Wednesday: WU 8 x 45s @ 5k pace WD (55m)

    ave (3:11)

    A bit jittery and restless this week during compensation/easy week. Today's average was way way faster than my current 5k pace. A few jogs and a few strides (Friday) before a 10k race on Sunday and back to training after.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 23/05 - 11k running, 12k cycling

    • AM: cycle commute 12k
    • PM: 11k on grass and over Killiney hill.

    Legs felt great after yesterdays race and let them have their way with a strong effort.

    Tuesday 24/05 - 12k running, 12k cycling

    • AM: 12k @ 4:23 m/km
    • PM: cycle commute 12k

    Legs still feeling super again so let them go again: this time at a steady effort mainly uphill in seconf half.

    Wednesday 25/05 - 13.5k running, 30k cycling, 5k hiking

    • AM: 13.5 k @ run
    • 30k cycle out and back to watch Howth IMRA race.

    Another day, and legs feel great again hence another steady run. Given the pleasant evening, later decided to cycle and watch the IMRA Howth race. Well over 550m climbing in a 10k race! Impromptu marshalling/demarking duties meant I covered a hilly 5k fast hiking.

    Thursday 26/05


    Friday 27/05 - 13.5k running, 30k cycling

    • AM: 13.5 k @ run
    • 30k cycle commute

    Feeling good and steady again around Killiney/Dalkey hill with 5 x 20s strides included near end.

    Saturday 28/05 - Long 23km: 30' Up/Down 40' @ 3:59

    Ran with J today out in Leixlip. Under control and we were chatting all the way. Went through the HM mark only a few minutes slower than a HM race I ran late last year. Good sign.

    Sunday 29/05 - 7.5k trail run sandwiched in a 35k cycle.

    Having a gander around Bohernabreena reservoir for some flat trail, hill and combo session possibilities. Glenasmole is a bit of a hidden gem.

    Weekly Kilometers: 82k running, 120k cycling (6hr15, 6hr03)

    (Format stolen from Jebuz)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 30 May: 

    Aerobic hill strides 3 x 6 x 15' on treadmill

    Re-adding the hills to the week as injuries seem to be cleared. Did a strong uphill 3min as part of good outdoor warmup to make sure the body was ready. Session on treadmill for some control. Format similar to the John Kellogg aerobic strides sessions (3 x 6 x 14-40' with occasional hard longer rep to finish).

    15 was gradient and speed was 13kph. As well as developing speed, getting the leg muscles activated and heart pounding I also wanted to start building some uphill muscular endurance. Legs were jelly-ish on last rep so job done all round.

    12km total. Cycle commute 35m each way (25km tot cycling)


    12 km easy. A bit of a climb in Killiney over the right of way on golf course (the right of way across a fairway). Leg muscles felt fatigued from yesterdays hills so had to make sure it was easy.

    Cycle commute each way.


    WU 20" + 4 x 5" WD (off 5", 3") on grass

    (3:43 for 20) (3:40,43,44,41)

    With a little fatigue I was fearing this one but delighted with outcome. Decided that executing it right should see me right even with a little fatigue so I focussed on that.

    Slow incremental warmup, incrementally faster good quality strides.

    Then concentrating on having the entire session in mind when pacing. So I pace the 20" knowing that 4 x 5 must be possible after at a slightly harder effort. (potentially 5 x 5 really as there should be one more possible).

    I didn't race the 20", I ran 'through' the 20 min time if that makes sense. No hanging on, dying, racing each rep. Aiming for a constant output.

    I brought that view into the 4 x 5": relaxing and just focussing on my legs pushing a constant output. I hadn't really done that before and it made the session a lot easier. No worrying about 'general feeling' (which can sometimes be demoralizing if not feeling great). Just focussing on a constant output from legs and keeping relaxed and decent posture everywhere else. The rep times vary by a few seconds, but this was due to being on different parts of the loop and hand on heart they were all identical. Best session I have done in a long time and the 'Super base' that the coach has me following is starting to bear fruit now.


    AM easy 65 mins, clontarf sea front and some Bull Island interior.

    PM easy 50, Clontarf seafront.

    Volume now is two activities a day, except the two session days. I am counting the double cycle commute as one activity.

    Had planned a cycle for Thursday evening but the rain put paid and ran instead. The cycling has come on a great deal due to the few weekend outings. To have the commutes useful from the training POV (even recovery) they must be taken at a much greater pace now. That means fitter, stronger legs.

    From next week, weekly template now like:

    Monday: 65 min run inc hill sprints (2 x cycle commute)

    Tuesday: 65 min run (2 x cycle commute)

    Wednesday: Session based around 10mi pace. Usually circa 40 mins of work.

    Thursday: AM 65 min run, PM 40 min run

    Friday: Tuesday: 65 min run inc 5 x 20s strides (2 x cycle commute)

    Saturday: Session based around Aerobic Threshold (ish) pace. 40,50,60 mins work alternating weekly with 30 min WU, WD.

    Sunday: Hilly cycle (2hrs but increasing weekly).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Friday 03/06 - 10k

    A little tired, so just 10k on grass

    Saturday - Long 25km: 30' Up/Down 50' @ 3:59

    Ran with J and Stevie today in Leixlip again. Hoping I wasn't still tired from yesterday. Legs felt funny and never felt like they were fully warmed up until late in the sesh. Had that feeling before when getting fitter: legs are getting stronger and these sub-threshold runs use a lower amount of the available power now. That's what I think in hindsight anyway. Under control, same pace as last week for the 40' but 10' more today and a good deal windier . Made sure the effort was based on aerobic threshold and a HR check after the event shows HR only flickered within 5 beats of that late in the effort on a steep hill. Had in mind to run through the 50' time rather than use it as a finish line. That was today's mind trick to keep the intensity right. Nothing sensational, but steady progress.

    Saturday PM:

    Recovery of a cycle to gym, some core work, lunges etc, a short swim and cycle back. Felt better after.

    Sunday - 2hr hilly run

    Planned weekly road cycle postponed due to the evil soaking drizzle that descended on the land.

    Easy run instead. The recovery meant I had minimal after effects from yesterdays session. Very easy pace road from Rathfarnham up to Hellfire and an hour easy around there before coming back. Took two hours but effort was so easy it wasn't what you'd consider a two hour run. Good to get it done though.

    Weekly Kilometers: 116k running, 120k cycling (10hr11, 2hr23, other 40'')

    Elevation gain: 892m

    Monday 6/6/22 8.5km running 32km cycling.

    AM Cycle up to Howth summit and back. About 32km. Easy and enjoyable.

    PM 3 x 6 x 15s uphill aerobic strides on treadmill. Rec. was 45s and 3 mins between sets. Grade 15%. Pace 12kph for fast recovery was 5kph same gradient and 6%, 8kph for the 3 mins.

    Adjusted by easing it down to 12kph from last week which i found tiring. Will slowly progress this by extending time at that pace. 8.5km and 330m ascent.

    Tuesday: 12km running 25km cycling commutes

    Easy run. Enjoyable. Feeling pretty good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Wednesday 8/6/22:  WU 8 x 5" WD (24km)

     (off 3") on grass (Polo grounds, Phoenix Park)

    (4:01, 3:48, 4:11, 4:05, 3:58, 3:48, 3:48, 3:30)

    A little tired and development race in 72 hrs (10 miler Saturday) so eased into it by feel. Improved a lot after halfway with reps getting progressively faster.

    PM Easy An hour of hot yoga (hatha flow) easy cycle to and fro.

    Friday 11/06 - Easy + 6 x 15s Strides (8.5km)

    Easy was outside, strides were treadmill. Strides: 3 uphill @ 10%, 3 flat

    Saturday - Race Glenmore 10 miler: 63mins

    Report to follow

    Sunday - Cycle 90 mins, 14km recovery running, Pool splash, Yoga

    Pushing a lot of blood through the body to flush it out and accelerate recovery. With hilly nature of race tiredness generally not bad, but more local to legs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,580 ✭✭✭ Swashbuckler

    Ive actually been toying with the idea of running some IMRA races over the coming months but a little apprehensive about it all...mainly 1. Being a complete novice to it all and 2. Terrible sense of direction although I've heard that the league races are mostly well marshalled or marked out. There something very very enticing about racing across different terrain with some monster hills and zero thoughts of pbs or anything like that. I wasn't a huge fan of XC but the mountain/trail running just seems more attractive. What do you reckon?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    Monday 20/6/22 12km running 12km cycling.

    AM Cycle commute 12km

    PM Run home 12km easy

    Tuesday: 21km running 12km cycle commute

    AM 13km easy run

    Lunch: 40m easy, 8km

    PM Cycle commute 12km

    Wednesday: 16km

    Not ready for a session yet after Sundays race.

    Easy run 13km from a gym with an easy 3km total jog to/fro gym.


    WU 10 x 3" WD (off 3" steady recovery) , road, N11/Vico/Coast towards Dublin

    Wasn't fancying this but settled on doing it as Fartlek on a nice enjoyable albeit hilly route.

    Warm muggy evening but was hoping some of the Hot Yoga adaptions might kick in.

    Average for fast reps: 3:44 (range 3:31-4:37)

    Average Slow reps: 4:37 (range 3:57-5:40)

    PM Hot Yoga

    Nearly died.

    Friday 12km

    12km recovery Jog.

    Saturday 12km

    8k easy followed by 8 x 8-10s hill sprints: 16kph @ grade 15% in prep for hill run tomorrow. Quads like jelly after.


    2 hr hillrun in the company of two serious International mountain runners. Neither were 100% thankfully.

    Started at Kilmashogue, went up the Tarmac Kilmashogue lane, all the way up. One of the guys knew a nice grass path from there back onto the Wicklow Way. My quads were feeling the climb which was half the point of the hill sprints: Get the benefit from hill sprints and make today more about muscular endurance.

    Down WW and onto Glencullen road or Pine forest road, whatever its called. Onto Wicklow way and up in direction of Prince Williams Seat. Climbing easy and chatty. Turned after an hour and we decided to push the steep climb back from Pine Forest Road to Wicklow way.

    One opened a decent gap on me the second a medium decent gap. There was a Strava segment there. We stopped before it but my time was slightly slower but the two lads would have smashed it. Fatigue came right on my quads. Perfect.

    Run the fireroad back down to the carpark and job done. Solid week.

    116k for week running, 1025m climbed running

    Post edited by demfad on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭ demfad

    It's worth exploring: It will enrich your running experience and you'll plug into a new network/subculture of running folk.

    I would start with a trail race if possible as it compliments the road running better and is less technical for a first foray. You'll be able to hit a good heart rate coming down.

    When I am training anything at 10-12% grade or below will directly help my flat running. 10% is the sweet spot between both IMO. Anything steeper helps but it might take a flat session/leg speed session or two to off set. Trail race be grand though.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,580 ✭✭✭ Swashbuckler

    Rookie question but what's the difference between a trail race and an iMRA event?